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FAQs

How many students are in the program?

Each cohort will have approximately 25 students.

Can I work full-time while in the program?

Yes, and we anticipate that most, if not all, students will continue to work full-time while they are enrolled. Our curriculum and course structure were designed with working clinicians in mind. We designed our program based on the need we saw in the field for advancement, and we were very deliberate in the structure of our curriculum to allow students to continue building their professional experience while enrolled in the program.

What is the difference between the SLP-D and the PhD?

The SLPD is unlike the PhD, as the focus is not developing individuals whose primary focus is research. Differing from a PhD, the focus of the SLPD is to develop your ability to analyze and apply advanced principles of leadership, business and practice management, and clinical science to real-world challenges within the context of a practice specialty area. The SLPD program allows students to continue working while pursuing their degree and takes less time to complete than the PhD.

Our department offers both the SLPD degree and the PhD degree. Learn more about the PhD program.

Can the specialty area mentor (SAM) be someone outside of Northwestern? Does the SAM need to be an SLP?

If you have someone in mind who is not affiliated with Northwestern, our program will vet the SAM to ensure that they are a good fit for your project type and understand the requirements of serving as a mentor.

Depending on your project type, your SAM may not need to be an SLP. The SAM should be an expert in your project area. (For example, students in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning category may select an academic administrator with expertise in teaching and learning best practices, while someone pursuing the business proposal may select someone with a strong background in business).

Do I need to identify a possible SAM at the time of the application?

You do not need to identify a SAM at the time of application. Throughout the first year of the program, you’ll refine your culminating project topic and then work with the SLPD committee to determine your SAM based on your project ideas and needs.

Do I need to have my culminating project topic finalized at the time of application?

No, it does not need to be finalized, as you will refine your topic during the course of the program. However, you should have it narrowed down to one or two potential projects, which you will discuss in your personal statement.

Are scholarships available?

We do offer a limited number of departmental, merit-based scholarships. There is not a separate application process for scholarships, as all applicants are automatically considered for available scholarships. Students will be notified of any scholarship awards at the time of their admission decision.

We also offer federal financial aid and encourage students to talk with their employers about tuition assistance programs and professional development funding opportunities.

Is the program accredited by ASHA?

At this time, ASHA/CAA does not accredit any clinical doctorate programs in speech-language pathology, because it isn’t the entry-level degree required for licensure. However, ASHA does provide guidelines for the Doctor of Speech-Language Pathology degree, which our program does follow.

Northwestern University is a regionally accredited institution, and our department has a record of maintaining ASHA accreditation for our entry-level professional programs (MS SLL and AuD). Although ASHA/CAA does not offer accreditation for the SLPD, you can be assured that our program will deliver the high quality coursework one would expect from Northwestern University.

How do the online classes work? Do I need to log in at a certain time for lecture?

Each course is approximately 11 weeks long and broken down by topic into modules (generally, each module is one week long). Each module will utilize various teaching and learning methods, including video presentations, discussion boards, readings, online assignments, etc.

The online courses are asynchronous, meaning that you are not required log in at a specific time. Instead, you complete the modules each week on your own time, keeping in mind the assignment due dates.

There are optional synchronous sessions that provide students an opportunity to video chat in real time with their classmates and faculty to discuss course content, ask questions, etc. Since we know students will be in different time zones and have different work schedules, attendance at the synchronous session is not mandatory and they will not impact your course grade. Those sessions are recorded and uploaded to the course site, so students who are unable to attend may watch the recording at a later time.